Weatherford Democrat

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February 17, 2013

Filling an entertainment ‘gap’

Mega-complex in Weatherford to include dinner movie theater, 23-lane bowling alley, restaurant, arcade and laser tag

By BRIAN SMITH

Work is expected to begin this spring on a family-style entertainment complex at the eastern corner of I-20 and Texas Drive in Weatherford.

The 75,000-square-foot facility, called the Weatherford Strand 8 Movie-Bowl-Grille to be constructed by Schulman Partners Ltd. from Bryan, will include an eight-screen movie theatre, a 23-lane bowling alley, a restaurant and arcade, including a laser tag facility and all the latest games, according to Weatherford Economic Development Authority Executive Director Dennis Clayton.

“It will definitely fill a gap that is desperately needed here,” Clayton said. “We’ve become a regional shopping area. This will help us become a regional entertainment area as well.”

Schulman Partners have been in the movie business for more than 85 years, opening their first theater in 1926. The group also owns the City Lights Theatre in Hudson Oaks. Negotiations with Schulman Partners began several months ago. Clayton said the group has constructed a similar facility in Bastrop, southeast of Austin.

Managing partner Mark Schulman said the Parker County area is big enough to support both sets of theatres.

“We believe the Weatherford and Parker County market will support both, as Weatherford will have different features than Hudson Oaks with the in-seat dining and such,” Schulman said.

Schulman said the addition of four new screens in Hudson Oaks and “something special” which he declined to elaborate on, both theatres will be different in style and appearance. He said the location in Weatherford was so “superb” he had to act on it sooner than expected. Clayton said there were five bidders on the land the complex will be built on, which was owned by the Weatherford Independent School District.

Because the facility will be serving alcohol near Austin Elementary School, some rezoning was done, Clayton said, in an effort to protect the children.

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